An attempt by Karlheinz Fessl
“ Expirer en inspirant, inspirer en expirant „, I hear her say. „Exhale on the inhale, inhale on the exhale“, and it remains open whether this is an imperative to her body or whether it is just her spirit of resistance making room for itself.
A typical scene in Christina Clar’s house, eight hundred meters above sea level: Preblau used to be a high-altitude health resort. The spring still bubbles its characteristic mineral water in the village. – A symbol almost. Because it gushes out at least as richly from Christina Clar, who does not like to emphasize often enough that the fact that she is currently working from here would be due to unintentional coincidences. Like so much in this life.
„I stopped expecting precise answers about where the journey would take me. It always turns out differently anyway.“
Born in Bruck an der Mur because of a doctor, for a long time nothing held her in the Austrian cosmos.
She has lived in three language areas, studying between Paris, Vienna, and London; oscillating or otherwise: between sculpture, theater studies and fine arts; traveling between Canada and Bolivia, between Australia and India, between Morocco and the Congo.
Living with her as a guest for a few days, one understands how alive this woman is. And how polyglot. Her days often begin quietly with yoga or meditation. They get louder when she coaches a friend: „T’es folle? Pas du tout! (Are you crazy? Not at all!)“ and much quieter again when she retreats to her studio to paint. She cannot exist without art. She breaks the daily routine by engaging with other artists, interacting, driving to the next exhibition, to the latest performance, reading Paul Watzlawick and Ingeborg Bachmann in parallel. A grand piano and a harp stand in the large room, which opens its view across the meadows and forests to Giselbert Hoke’s sun tower, located on the Austrian southern highway near Twimberg.
Indian sadhus and how they live, people working with their hands, who understand and appreciate the intelligence of their bodies, the gestures of women cooking with open fire, the clarity of people with impairments… All these different realities are part of her inspiration: she floods spaces with sound and image. Boundaries between the spaces created by the mind and those that actually exist start to collapse. Installations, performances, computer-based applications. Border crossings.
She has worked with the Belgian open source and artist collective Constant during her time in Brussels, and with musicians Pascal Contet and Bernard Lubat in France, with architect Roberto Benavente, and with visual artist and theater-maker Yves Chaudouët, amongst many others; at the Salzburg Festival with director Peter Sellars; at the Ars Electronica Festival with TNC Network; performances in the context of the Steirischer Herbst; in Congo with director and actor Dieudonné Niangouna; in Australia with filmmaker Matt Richards; in Los Angeles with draughtsman Peter Jap Lim. Her network includes artists, performers, cultural workers, directors, theater and opera companies, independent groups and initiatives around the world.
Breaking boundaries, being collaborative and creative, focusing on the desire, even the necessity to create, is her thing. Christina Clar is elusive: but what influences her most, besides people who want to make the world more open and accessible, and besides diverse artists with a universal approach to creation and high social aspirations, is definitely the ever-renewing power of nature, with its cycles and the energy that nourishes life.
When I only scratch to grasp her world, Christina immediately opens a wise perspective: „Do we understand ourselves?“ – What remains is only vague, delightful approximation.
She goes out of the room to harvest arugula and parsley, gooseberries and a cucumber, zucchini and endive. – “ Ahh, quel bonheur!!! „